Thursday, February 18, 2016

Image to Action: Sergey Ponomarev on the Refugee Crisis

2016 World Press Photo award: General News, first prize stories
Sergey Ponomarev, November 16, 2015
"Refugees arrive by boat near the village of Skala on Lesbos, Greece."
(Commissioned by The New York Times.)

Today winners of the 2016 World Press Photo awards are being publicized.

The image above of the refugee crisis reminded me of images used in a previous post about the need to support immigrants.

Sergey Ponomarev won first prize in the "stories" category for this image: "Refugees arrive by boat near the village of Skala on Lesbos, Greece."

How do we convert our wonder at an image like this into action?

Three suggestions come to mind:

(1) Advocacy - Call your member of Congress today and say that you want the US to insist on a diplomatic solution in Syria, including an immediate ceasefire.

(2) Relief - Contribute to the urgent relief efforts. (Lutheran World Relief is a highly effective supplier of relief.)

(3) Act locally - meet with others in your community engaging in sustained efforts to welcome immigrants and stop all armed conflict. (Search using the name of your locality and words such as "sanctuary" and "antiwar".)

Related posts

Part of what I loved about Du Hai was the way it used large pieces of fabric to convey the sensation of being in a boat among billowing waves, and the multiple uses to which they put the fabric - sea, clouds, sail, and more. Even a newcomer to modern dance, such as myself, could grasp what was going on.

(See The 21st Century U.S. Vocation: Extending hospitality to the next wave of immigrants coming to our country )

In a way, you can hardly even say I "write" blog posts. Mostly I just post FJJ photos with a few words attached. And I know a lot of other beneficiaries of Frank's photos who feel the same way.

(See PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Frank James Johnson

Perhaps the most troubling residue of the Syria crisis is that so much of our national discussion was centered on what our interests are, and whether we can force others to do what we want, and who our friends and who our enemies are. What's missing in all this is the question: what can we do to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria?

(See Syria: Where Have We Ended Up?)